President Muhammadu Buhari has failed to submit the much-anticipated ministerial list to the senate as lawmakers ended Tuesday’s plenary session in disappointment.
On July 20, while on a trip to the US, Mr. Buhari disclosed his ministers would be ready by September.
Writing in an article titled, “Nigeria committed to good governance and fighting terror”, published in Washington Post on July 20, Mr. Buhari said he was delaying the list of the ministers to “put new rules of conduct and good governance in place”.
“When cabinet ministers are appointed in September, it will be some months after I took the oath of office. It is worth noting that Obama himself did not have his full Cabinet in place for several months after first taking office; the United States did not cease to function in the interim.
“In Nigeria’s case, it would neither be prudent nor serve the interests of sound government to have made these appointments immediately on my elevation to the presidency; instead, Nigeria must first put new rules of conduct and good governance in place,” he wrote in the article.
Last week, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, was more categorical when he announced that the list would be ready by September 30.
“Time given has not yet elapsed and the president himself said by September 30, there is no cabinet, you should come and ask him questions. That is it,” he told Vanguard newspapers.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly (Senate), Ita Enang, reportedly aborted his trip to the US at the weekend to meet the September 30 deadline set by the presidency for the ministerial nomination.
But at today’s session, to the disappointment of the senators, Senate President Bukola Saraki had no list to announce to lawmakers – a situation that angered senators of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.
The minority leader of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, therefore raised a point of order, seeking clarification from the senate president regarding why the anticipated ministerial list was not read.
Mr. Saraki’s effort to respond to the minority leader was supported by deputy senate leader, Bala Na-Allah, who also raised another point of order that the session and the day had not ended.
He argued that since the day’s session ends by 12:30pm, senators should remain hopeful that the president would submit the list before the close of the session.
But as the time the session ended on Wednesday afternoon, the list had still not reached the lawmakers.
The chairman of the Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Information, Dino Melaye, however said the senators would treat the list with urgency as soon as it was submitted to them.
“We are still waiting for the ministerial list from the president. I want to advise that there is no need for agitation because September expires by midnight and the office of the senate president is open,” Mr. Melaye said.
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